Going to Meet the Man by James Baldwin
New York : The Dial Press, 1965. First Edition. Hardcover. 249 pages ; 21 cm. $4.95 dust jacket. Pages are unmarked and binding are sound.
Going To Meet The Man
It will come as no surprise to the readers of James Baldwin that he has been writing consistently brilliant and important short fiction for well over a decade. But with this volume they will have a chance to measure and assess the truly astonishing range and intensity of his gifts: Going To Meet the Man is the first collection of Mr. Baldwin's stories. It includes three recent works never before published.
A young girl attempts to accept the impending departure of her lover; a Negro entertainer who has made his name in Europe faces the prospect of returning to the United States; a young man who has achieved middle-class status has to accommodate his brother's life of jazz, dope addiction, and prison; a white policeman in a southern town recalls the mutilation and lynching of a Negro: Mr. Baldwin's situations are always ruthlessly spare. Every situation is firmly rooted in the world as we know it today, and the characters are so accurately perceived and truthfully rendered that the overall effect is almost musical —in that we may still hear music long after it is played. Here is an author who writes about what matters, and with a capacity for honesty that may be unrivaled by any contemporary practitioner on the American scene.
JAMES BALDWIN was born in New York City on August 2, 1924. He was the first of nine children and grew up in Harlem where his father was a minister. For six years, after his graduation from high school in 1942, he found work in a variety of minor jobs. When he was twenty-four he left for Europe and lived there almost ten years. During this time, he wrote his first three books: Go Tell it on the Mountain, Notes of a Native Son, and Giovanni's Room. They firmly established him as one of America's outstanding young writers. In 1957, he returned to New York, where he now lives when he is not on one of his frequent trips abroad.
In 1961, Mr. Baldwin's fourth book, the collection of brilliant essays entitled Nobody Knows My Name, brought him broad public recognition as well as distinguished critical attention. Perhaps the most meaningful book ever to discuss being Negro in America, Nobody Knows My Name was the recipient of numerous awards and a devoted following. The following year brought similar acclaim for his best-selling novel, Another Country. In 1963, the prophetic The Fire Next Time jolted both the critical world and the book-buying public. Instantly acclaimed, as Granville Hicks said, as "a great document of our times, in literary power as well as in strength of feeling and clarity of insight," the book rushed to the top of all the best-seller lists.
James Baldwin is also the author of three plays. The first, The Amen Corner, was originally produced at Howard University. It had a long and successful run in Los Angeles, later opened on Broadway in 1965, and, as Going to Meet the Man is published, another production is touring the world under the auspices of the State Department. A dramatization of Giovanni's Room was staged by the Actor's Studio workshop. In 1964, his Blues for Mr. Charley opened off-Broadway and was published simultaneously in hook form. Like The Amen Corner, it has been produced throughout this country and Europe.
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